Rules for writing good copy

recently, I came across Jack Kerouac’s rules for writing well.

It inspired me to examine my own rules that I’ve been following consciously and unconsciously for writing sales copy over the past few years – particularly with emails.

So I typed my rules out. & decided to share them.

These are the rules I try and follow in every piece of copy I write, to ensure that it’s not only a compelling piece of sales material, but also a genuinely good piece of writing. 

Folks say you don’t have to be a good writer to be a good copywriter… 

…but you don’t have to not be a good writer either. & I feel it’s a bit of an insult to the intelligence of the reader to not put some time into the craft aspect of writing.

And that’s what these rules are for: the CRAFT.

So here they are. they’re shorthand for the most part, so feel free to ask for more explanation on any of them if you’re interested 🙂

copy poet’s writing rules:

  1. let unconscious flow write forward no deleting (Shitty First Draft)
  2. model what works (don’t reinvent the wheel)
  3. write in the key of C (Connect, Engage, Galvanize)
  4. your, you’re. get it right.
  5. Interbeing. this is because that is. everything’s connected.
  6. no neediness. be a Giver.
  7. grease the slide w/ every word
  8. no persuasion tricks. No turd polishing. If it ain’t valuable, don’t sell it.
  9. educate, revelate, entertain
  10. create golden vision of greater future within reach
  11. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (use 2-3)
  12. 4 Buyer Types (Impulse, Logic, Empathic, Deadline Rider) know who you’re writing to
  13. practice Economy of Words
  14. use 2nd Person WHEREVER Possible
  15. its, it’s. get it right.
  16. no implied fallibility.
  17. know your voice.
  18. dynamic lyrical journey (rhythm, meter, sentence & paragraph length, etc)
  19. write fearless. They asked to read this. No apologies.
  20. no pitching. Make authentic fiduciary invitations.
  21. be a friend. Kind. Respectful. Genuine belief in people.
  22. there, their, they’re. get it right.
  23. ascend, transcend, uplift emotionally & mentally. Write words worth reading no matter what. 

Them’s the rules (so far). Now that I read them, I think I’ll probably be breaking each one out into its own post in the coming days & weeks.

In the meantime… go forth & write things worth reading.